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Another World Adventures TOP015 Discover Haiti_010

 

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Mysterious and Mystical Haiti

Exotic and entrancing, colourful and vibrant, mysterious and mystical, unexplored and adventurous, Haiti is an exhilarating destination ideal for curious intrepid travellers. Bursting with a fascinating history of slave rebellion, strong West African roots, inebriating music and art and alluring Vodou traditions, Haiti will have you captivated from the moment you arrive.

Trip highlights

  • Discover vibrant art and culture
  • Relax in pristine nature and idyllic beaches
  • Take part in captivating Vodou rituals
  • Explore magnificent cultural heritage

Take a journey back in time while climbing the mountaintop UNESCO fortress Citadelle Laferrière, explore pristine nature in the mountain peaks of Kenscoff and swim in the cool turquoise waters of Bassin Bleu. This comprehensive itinerary will give you the chance to discover the highlights of the destination while offering unusual experiences such as taking part in a Vodou ceremony, staying at the heritage Hotel Oloffson and enjoying a night of live music with the local crowd.

Itinerary:

DAY 1

Our tour starts in the northern town of Cap-Haitien, former capital and symbolic centre of the historic Haitian slave revolution. Time permitting, after the afternoon group arrival we take a quick guided tour of the historic part of the town and its beautifully preserved charming centre; overnight at Hotel Roi Christophe.

DAY 2

Morning visit to the magnifcent UNESCO sites of Citadelle Laferrière and Sans-Souci Palace; meet the local community of Milot and attend an authentic Vodou ceremony.

In the morning we get a short transfer to the magnifcent UNESCO Citadelle Laferrière, the largest fortress in the western hemisphere and without doubt the most spectacular heritage site in Haiti. The Citadelle was built by Henri Christophe (a key leader during the Haitian slave rebellion) to keep the newly-independent nation of Haiti safe at the time of the French incursions. We walk up to the mountaintop fortress following the steep winding road surrounded by sweeping mountain views (approx. 45mins walk). On top we take a guided tour and explore the incredible well preserved collection of cannons, chambers and passageways.

Later we also visit the ruins Ruins of Palais Sans Souci, the former palace of Henri Christophe. In the afternoon, after an introductory lecture about Haitian Vodou, we will have the unique and fantastic opportunity to take part in an authentic religious ceremony hosted by the local community of Milot.

DAY 3

Today we head south to the capital city of Port-au-Prince. The drive will take approx. 8 hours (including stops), partly on a new surfaced road and partly on mountainous winding roads. En route we stop at a local bakery and learn how to make the traditional flat bread Cassava, a food of the native Taino people. In the afternoon we check in at Villa Therese, our accommodation for the night.

DAY 4

Today’s sightseeing tour of Port-au-Prince will cover the most interesting areas and attractions of the capital, starting with a guided visit to the national museum Mupanah, a key place to get an insight into the country’s history. Contrasting and frenetic, the city bustles with life and the streets are clogged by day vendors, aromatic food stalls and hooting traffic jams. During the rest of the day, we will have the opportunity to visit the gingerbread houses neighborhood, the earthquake affected downtown and the newly restored Iron Market with its large display of arts and crafts.

Later in the afternoon we check in at the famous Hotel Oloffson, a quirky 19th-century gingerbread mansion set in a lush tropical garden. Past guests include Jacqueline Kennedy, Mick Jagger and Marlon Brando. In the evening we head to the restaurant Quartier Latin for dinner where a live band will be entertaining with some Latin, Caribbean and Haitian beats (optional). Back at the Hotel Olofsson, we have the opportunity to see some more live music performance. The hotel manager and his band RAM usually entertain the local crowd every Thursday with Haitian folk songs, mixed with modern electronic instruments and Vodou beats.

DAY 5

Full day in the beautiful mountains of Kenscoff; visit Wynne’s Farm Ecological Reserve; gentle walking and birdwatching on nature trails.

Today we leave the chaotic capital behind and head to the mountain peaks around Kenscoff for a fantastic retreat in pristine nature. We stop en-route at the observatory in Boutilliers (970m) for a stunning panoramic view of Port-au-Prince. In Kenscoff, we visit Jane Wynne’s residence and ecological reserve. Jane and her family are Haitians dedicated to environmental education and the promotion of sustainable development to the local community and visitors. After learning about their inspirational work and projects we take a gentle walking tour on nature trails for some bird watching; dinner and overnight in a cosy mountain lodge.

DAY 6

To the picturesque city of Jacmel; explore local shops, art galleries, colourful buildings and meet the friendly artists and locals.

In the morning we leave Furcy and depart to the southern town of Jacmel (via Port-au-Prince). Founded in 1868 by French colonists Jacmel today is considered the artistic epicentre of Haiti and it is well known for its tranquil atmosphere, colourful painted buildings and rich cultural events including the annual Carnival.
After lunch at the charming and wonderfully preserved Hotel Florita (originally built in 1888) we take a guided walking tour, visit some of the local crafts galleries and meet the friendly artists. In the evening we check in at the charming hotel La Colline Enchante half an hour from Jacmel, where we enjoy a delicious dinner accompanied by the captivating rhythms of the Troubadour live band.

DAY 7

Morning swim in the cool turquoise waters of Bassin Bleu; spend a relaxing afternoon in one of Jacmel’s beaches.

Hidden in the hills above the picturesque Jacmel is Bassin-Bleu, a small natural paradise where cool turquoise pools are linked by impressive waterfalls. After a transfer and a walk through lush green forest including a descent on a rope (about 2m), we reach the natural basins. Here we have time for a refreshing swim. The experience is almost magical, considering a popular legend which tells of water nymphs living in the hidden grottos by the basins, which disappear at the sound of mortal footsteps.
We will spend the afternoon relaxing at one of Jacmel’s quiet beaches; dinner a-la-carte and overnight at La Colline Enchante.
DAY 8

Transfer to the beach resort of Ouanga Bay via Noailles.

Today travel north to the Ouanga Bay Resort, a lovely family-owned beach hotel which will be our base for the last two days of the trip. Before leaving Jacmel we visit the CINE’ Institute, a school and production company whose mission is to provide tuition-free education and training for young Haitians.

En-route we will also stop at the vodou temple “Le Peristyle de Mariani”; here we might have the opportunity to meet the Head of Haitan Vodou who will host us for lunch and show us around the local museum. In the afternoon we will visit the village of Noailles to watch skilled artisans converting recycled metal into unique works of art; dinner and overnight at Ouanga Bay.

DAY 9

Morning walk to the hilltop village of Kay Piat; free afternoon.

In the morning we take a guided walk to the hills of Kay Piat: a three hours moderate hike will offer us the opportunity to explore the surrounding lush tropical vegetation, remote villages and a wonderful secluded watercress farm.

Later we head to Moulin Sur Mer and visit the Ogier-Fombrun Museum that will greet us with stories dating from the Pre-colombian indian era to the colonial times of 1794, when Haiti was the largest producer of sugar in the Caribbean.The afternoon will be free to enjoy some relaxing time at the beach followed by a farewell lobster dinner.

DAY 10

End Ouanga Bay. Those wishing to join the group transfer to Port-au-Prince will have the opportunity to take a quick visit of the Barbancourt rum distillery and enjoy a goodbye drink (seasonal).

 

More Details

Additional Trip Notes:
Start and Finish: Various – see Dates & Rates tab
Flight inclusive (UK return ATOL protected) and exclusive land only options
Start point: Cap-Haitien, Haiti
Finish point: Ouanga Bay, Haiti

Group Size:
This is a small group guided holiday. The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size, with an average of 12 like-minded clients booking individually, in a couple or as friends together.

Activity Level:
You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

This holiday is designed to see the best parts of Haiti in ten days. There is a lot to see and some of the drives are long. All vehicles used on the trip are comfortable and air-conditioned but some of the journeys can be a bit tiring due to the condition of some roads, which can be bumpy. The long drives will include breaks for toilet facilities, shopping, photos and meals. The drive times as well as the order of activities listed in the itinerary are an estimate only and can vary depending on traffic and road conditions.

Generally the infrastructure outside the main cities is fairly underdeveloped for touristic purposes. For this reason whilst travelling in the more remote or less developed regions patience is required.

Accommodation:
You spend 10 nights in charming boutique hotels that have been selected for their comfort, good standards and character. All are family-run and offer a friendly welcoming atmosphere. You also spend one night at the famous Oloffson Hotel in Port-au-Prince, a quirky 19th-century gingerbread mansion set in a lush tropical garden. This hotel is more basic but its unique ambience will be one of the most memorable experiences on the trip. Most of the hotels have pools and offer free wi-fi.

Meals:
All breakfasts are normally buffet-style. Restaurant stops for lunch and dinner are selected throughout the itinerary to allow you to try good quality local cuisine. Most of the included meals will be buffet style and will consist of a variety of Creol specialities.

Haitian cuisine originates the different historical ethnic groups that have populated the island of Hispaniola, namely the French, African, the Taino natives and the Spanish. The cuisine is unpretentious and simple, but the flavours are bold and sometimes spicy. The most common national meals include meat and vegetable soups, fried pork and goat meat, rice and legumes, fried plantains, spicy pickles and fish. Not to be missed are the famous national drinks including Prestige beer and the world-renowned Rhum Barbancourt.

Vegetarians are catered for throughout the trip, but please ensure that you advise the office before you travel so that we can make the necessary arrangements on your behalf.

Weather & seasonality:
Haiti has a tropical climate. The dry season runs from November through to March (with January and February being the cooler months with daytime temperature averaging around 24ºC).

It can be very hot (32-37ºC) and humid between May and November, with heavy rains at times and the possibility of hurricanes between August and October.

Haiti has an average of 7-8 hours sunshine per day with a more or less constant humidity of 65%. Water temperature normally ranges from 24 to 28ºC. Once you head up to the mountains (Kenscoff and Furcy) temperatures fall off, and an extra layer is recommended, especially in the winter months between November and March.

   

Departure dates:

Please contact us for availability and prices.

  • Mon 07 Dec 2015 – Wed 16 Dec 2015
  • Mon 18 Jan 2016 – Thu 28 Jan 2016
  • Mon 22 Feb 2016 – Thu 03 Mar 2016
  • Mon 04 Apr 2016 – Thu 14 Apr 2016
  • Mon 02 May 2016 – Thu 12 May 2016
  • Mon 27 Jun 2016 – Thu 07 Jul 2016
  • Mon 07 Nov 2016 – Thu 17 Nov 2016
  • Mon 05 Dec 2016 – Thu 15 Dec 2016
  • Mon 16 Jan 2017 – Thu 26 Jan 2017
  • Mon 27 Feb 2017 – Thu 09 Mar 2017
  • Mon 27 Mar 2017 – Thu 06 Apr 2017
  • Mon 01 May 2017 – Thu 11 May 2017
  • Mon 05 Jun 2017 – Thu 15 Jun 2017
  • Mon 13 Nov 2017 – Thu 23 Nov 2017
  • Mon 11 Dec 2017 – Thu 21 Dec 2017

Price
From £1,599 excluding flights
From £2,449 including return UK flights (London) – increases to 11 nights with 10 boutique guest houses and 1 airport hotel

Flight inclusive options available – please enquire.

What’s included?

  • 9 breakfasts
  • 7 lunches
  • 4 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout

What’s not included?

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (GBP 290)
  • Visas and vaccinations

Operator

“If you’re looking for a company with experience you can’t beat these guys. This operator started life in February 1974 when two friends got together to provide an overland truck to travel to the Minaret of Jam, deep in the heart of the Hindu Kush, the most inaccessible of the world’s great monuments.

For the company, and people who work for them it’s all about adventure which is what they were founded on and what they are still about today. Their trips take place all around the world where they help travellers to delve into local traditions, cultures, cuisine, lifestyles – anything that contributes to a country’ unique identity.

We love that their groups and guides travel courteously and respectfully, in smaller groups to minimise the impact, to ensure that every holiday is a beneficial experience for everyone involved.”

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